Day two of the 2018 MLB Draft kicks off at 11:30 CST.
The Cubs held four selections on Day one. Their first choice was Stanford shortstop Nico Hoerner, a proven performer at a major college program and for the past two summers in the wood bat Cape Cod League. They then went for high upside plays with their next two choices taking a pair of athletic prep outfielders, Brennen Davis and Cole Roederer. Both were slowed by injury this spring which probably helped keep the buzz down on each of them throughout the draft process. They inject some much needed high ceiling potential into the system. With their final pick, the Cubs returned to the collegiate ranks, selecting a proven strike thrower in San Diego righty Paul Richan.
I am hopeful for continued focus on high ceiling prep players today. The Cubs have a young core under control for the near future. Their pitching staff, especially the bullpen will need to be fortify soon, but that is the current strength of the Cubs system thanks to two consecutive drafts heavy with college pitchers. Rounding out the bullpen with internal replacements should not be an issue the next few years. What the Cubs need is to restock on higher upside talent so that 4-5 years down the road when the core begins hitting free agency the Cubs have potential internal replacements for some of them. This strategy will require the selection of some underslot seniors from the college ranks as well. The Cubs have even had some luck finding value in these guys as well (Zach Godley, James Farris, Ryan Williams, Craig Brooks).
I will update this thread throughout the day as the Cubs make their selections.
Third Round (98): OF Jimmy Herron
College: Duke | B-T: R/L | HT-WT: 6'1" 195 | DOB: 7/27/1996
Baseball America: 165, MLB.com: NR
SLOT VALUE: $570,600
Jimmy Herron is a speedy outfielder who played RF at Duke but most believe he will move to CF as a professional as the offensive profiles better at that position. Another proven Cape Cod League performer, Herron hit .338, good for 3rd in the circuit there last summer. The odd lefty throwing, righty hitter. Hit .298/.416/.454 with 22 SB (3 CS) and more walks than strikeouts.
Another guy that suffered through a nagging injury (elbow) this spring that may have held down his draft stock. All three outfielders the Cubs have chosen so far missed time this year. Unlike the other two, Herron's injury may require surgery at some point, potentially of the Tommy John variety. His health makes him a potential underslot pick at this point but still with some upside once his elbow is fixed.
Cubs going with Duke's Jimmy Herron, speedy OF, feel to hit there, not tremendously impactful power but chance to hit and play in CF. Really performed on the Cape last summer.
— Brian Sakowski (@B_Sakowski_PG) June 5, 2018
Fourth Round (128): RHP Ethan Roberts
College: Tennessee Tech | B-T: R-R | HT-WT: 5'11" 170 | DOB: 07/04/97
Baseball America: NR, MLB.com: NR
SLOT VALUE: $426,100
Undersized right hander Ethan Roberts is up to 92 with his fastball. His best pitch is a cutter and shows feel for a curve as well. Throws a lot of strikes and is a potentially quick moving reliever. Often works multiple innings as the Tennessee Tech closer. This is likely the first Cubs selection that could be considered a true under slot pick.
— TTU Baseball (@TNTech_Baseball) May 26, 2017
— TTU Baseball (@TNTech_Baseball) May 7, 2017
Fifth Round (158): 2B Andy Weber
College: Virginia / B-T: L-R / HT-WT: 6' 1" 190 / DOB: 07/24/97
Baseball America: NR, MLB.com: NR
SLOT VALUE: $317,600
An offensive second baseman, Andy Weber put up strong OBP and SLG numbers with Univeristy of Virginia. Looks like he can play a bit of defense too. Hit .344/.415/.536 with five HR & 49 RBI and 19 doubles in 2018. First-Team All-ACC, tied for conference lead in doubles, second in hitting.
— Virginia Baseball (@UVABaseball) March 25, 2018
Sixth Round (188): RHP Kohl Franklin
School: Broken Arrow Sr HS (OK) / B-T: R-R / HT-WT: 6' 4" 190 | DOB: 09/09/99
Baseball America: NR
SLOT VALUE: $245,600
Projectable prep right hander, Kohl Franklin has been clocked up to 93. Possesses good feel for a changeup in the low-80s that he considers his go-to pitch. Throws both a slider and curve but reports are mixed on both. Franklin is the nephew of former MLB All-Star reliever Ryan Franklin. Missed part of the spring with a broken foot. He was considered a strong Oklahoma commit, but his father is a pro agent who reps several big leaguers so the Cubs must have an agreement worked out for him to be taken here.
Seventh Round (218): D.J. Artis
College: Liberty University / B-T: L/L | HT-WT: 5' 9" 165 | DOB: 03/20/97
Baseball America: 149, MLB.com: 136
Scouting grades according to MLB.com: Hit: 50 | Power: 40 | Run: 60 | Arm: 40 | Field: 55 | Overall: 45
SLOT VALUE: $192,500
Speed is the first thing that will jump out when watching center fielder D.J. Artis. He possesses a long track record as a top of the order hitter in college and on the Cape. Have you heard that profile before? An undersized lefty with a pronounced crouch that shrinks his strike zone even further, he led the country with 62 walks last season and finished second with a .532 OBP. Slashed .305/.464/.489 through 190 at-bats this spring.
Eighth Round (248): RHP Zach Mort
College: George Mason | B-T: R/R | HT-WT: 6' 1" 205 | DOB: 05/22/97
Baseball America: NR
SLOT VALUE: $159,100
Another strike thrower. Zach Mort racked up over a K per inning and a K:BB ratio near nine with his three pitch mix.
Ninth Round (278): RHP Derek Casey
College: Virginia | B-T: R/R | HT-WT: 6' 2" 190 | DOB: 02/15/96
SLOT VALUE: $145,100
Derek Casey missed all of 2016 and part of 2017 while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Returned to become Virginia's Friday night starter as a senior this year. Low-90s and overall stuff is considered average but did miss plenty of bats this season.
#Cubs 9th round #MLBDraft pick Derek Casey reportedly previously "passed on an offer of $900,000 from the Chicago Cubs, who would have selected him in the third or fourth round of the 2014 Major League Baseball draft had he agreed to sign."
— Savermetrics (@Savermetrics) June 5, 2018
— FOX Sports South (@FOXSportsSouth) May 25, 2018
Tenth Round (308): 3B Luke Reynolds
College: Southern Mississippi | B-T: L-R | HT-WT: 6' 1" 215 | DOB: 03/20/95
Baseball America: 404
SLOT VALUE: $137,600
Older college slugger who sat out two seasons because of various school transfers. Hit .389/.551/.699 this season and was leading the NCAA in walks at one point. More likely to end up at 1B than 3B as a professional.
B7| Luke Reynolds hits his NINTH HOME RUN of the season, a two-run bomb, to cut the lead to ✌️
Tulane 7 Southern Miss 5 pic.twitter.com/cmHLF0T5JN
— Southern Miss Baseball (@SouthernMissBSB) May 2, 2018